There were no lives lost during the Tathra bushfire despite so much going wrong to get the word out. Everyone knows that Tathra is a mobile phone reception blackspot – an alert system is only as good as the infrastructure it uses. Many homes and businesses were destroyed and it could’ve been much worse but for the wonderful NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and the local residents who stayed behind. The Writers of the Far South Coast implores any writers and artists needing assistance getting back on their feet to visit South East Arts.
Many politicians visited the evacuated residents at the Bega showground and brought their intrusive media circus with them. The most accurate and timely information, however, came from our well-known local journalists Ben Smyth with his team at Bega District News and Ian Campbell at About Regional, because they understand how to balance respect for privacy in a time of loss with the public’s intense urgency to hear news about family, friends, acquaintances and the town of Tathra itself.
Volunteer organisations were overwhelmed by community generosity while providing food, clothing, toiletries, mobile phone chargers, places to sleep, and a caring shoulder – the Bega Valley Shire Council is now respectfully asking for monetary donations and your support at Band Together – Tathra Bushfire Relief Concert in May.
Let it be known to all that Tathra, NSW is open for business. Tathra’s Kianinny Bush Cottages, where our retreat is held, escaped the fire’s devastation.
It’s a long road ahead and I’m glad to be woken at nights, not by sirens, but by the rain.
Read more about the fires (links open in a new window):
- ‘You could hear gas bottles popping off’: Volunteers on the front line
- NSW Rural Fire Service complete preliminary investigation into Tathra fire cause
- Tathra fire evacuation centre volunteer: ‘Without leadership, people perish’
- Tathra bushfire appeal: Please donate money, not goods
- Tathra residents begin to return, recover
- Saviour thanked: ‘She was knackered, so I started to carry her’
- Fire strikes Tathra family twice
- NSW government to launch review into Tathra bushfire, response
- Tathra residents begin returning to fire-ravaged town
- Media opportunities hinder operations at the Bega Showground evacuation centre after Tathra fire
- Tathra fire: Scenes from the evacuation centre
- Tathra fire: Volunteer care and comfort at Bega Showground evacuation centre
- Shock and relief as family loses home of 35 years to Tathra bushfire
- Tathra bottle shop plans again lost to fire